Alleged attempted sexual assault at mental health facility

Baptist Hospital is disputing a report that states an incident involving two of its underage patients at its Behavioral Health Center was an attempted sexual assault.

A report completed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, stated that a 15-year-old male patient gained access to the room of a 10-year-old female patient and tried to take off the girl's pants.

However, Baptist Hospital's spokesperson Mary Poole said that the incident between the adolescent patients does not meet the definition of attempted sexual assault under state law, and that the initial report completed by the Texas Department of State Health Services did not include that language.

Following that report, CMS listed Baptist Hospital in "Immediate Jeopardy" of losing its funding for the programs since the incident occurred while the staff member who was monitoring the girl stepped away for a brief moment. CMS requires a 1:1 monitoring ratio of staff to behavioral health patients.

Baptist filed an appeal after being put in "Immediate Jeopardy" and was allowed time under a "Systems Improvement Agreement" to fix their mistakes. A spokesperson for CMS declined to comment on the details of the report but said they are continuing with the current agreement which gives the hospital until May 30 to comply.

Poole said the hospital is no longer at risk of losing funding and will meet the requirements set forth by CMS.

"Many of the CMS recommendations have already been implemented and Baptist Beaumont Hospital will continue this process to ensure the highest quality of care to our community," Poole said.

In the report CMS also alleged that it took staff members at the Behavioral Health Center four days to report the incident to administrators.


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